Survivor Winners at War: How Nick Wilson can win a second time

Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

The most recent Survivor champion to be a part of the Winners at War cast is coming into season 40 in a great position to make a deep run.

The beauty of this all-winners Survivor season is that we’re about to see someone from season 2 play on the same tribe as the winner from season 37! Production made sure to get a bunch of winners from each era, so having players who haven’t been on this show for over a decade working with castaways who were just in Fiji a couple of years ago will make for a fun dynamic.

Nick Wilson is the most recent winner of this all-star cast. In fact, he was crowned as a Sole Survivor only six months before Winners at War began filming. Nick proved victorious in one of the best seasons of the decade, thanks to an extremely talented bunch of castaways. Like several Survivor winners, Nick was on the cusp of getting his torch snuffed during the premiere, but he recovered and put together an impressive game.

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Creating alliances and naming them was Nick’s trademark, as he grew tight with his David tribe. After the swap, he got the opportunity to develop bonds with original Goliath members, forming an alliance with Mike White and Angelina Keeley. However, Nick rejoined the Davids after the merge and sneakily used his relationships and intel from the Goliath tribe against them.

Nick was part of the David crew that stunned viewers with expertly played idols and advantages. That included a Vote Steal advantage that Nick played which set up that epic Idol Nullifier moment. Beyond that, Nick even tried some gutsy strategies with his idol, and although it didn’t work out as planned, it showcased his out of the box strategic thinking.

Once the Davids gained control, they began taking out some of their own, tipping the scales back to the Goliaths. Nick was safe for the second half of the game though thanks to the strong bonds he built with Mike and Angelina. In order to ensure his path to the Final Three, Nick went on an Individual Immunity run and halted Mike’s late-season push. Nick played a well-respected, all-around game without getting a single vote cast against him the entire season!

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Coming into Winners at War, Nick is worried about one thing in particular. In his interview with ET Canada, he mentioned how he has had six months to connect with all of the other Survivor champions, while several of them have been around for years building real friendships with each other. So for good reason, he’s a little worried about pre-existing relationships and pre-game alliances.

Nick’s plan is a very practical one. He wants to see if he could align himself with players who are in a similar position; coming into season 40 without a wealth of pre-game friendships amongst fellow winners. At the same time, Nick is keeping his doors open. If the best option for him is to work with Tyson, Rob or other big guns, he won’t be scared to take that opportunity. He also won’t be going crazy making alliances and naming them as he did in season 37. That kind of flexibility and opened minded outlook is what you want to have coming into a season like this one.

What was evident from Nick’s performance in David vs. Goliath was his focus on winning. I realize how cliché that sounds, but just look at his bio. While most castaways, even among this group of winners said that their parents, children or other relatives are their biggest inspiration in life, Nick wrote that Sandra is his biggest inspiration because she won twice. That’s some serious dedication!

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Nick excelled at playing a strategically and socially strong game while remaining to stay under the radar. That type of gameplay wins competitive Survivor seasons, and Nick is prepared to play a little harder given this stacked cast. There is a chance he could play too hard in the early going and get in trouble fast, but if he starts off slow and builds off where he left off the last time he was in Fiji, then Nick will be a sneaky pick to win it all.